Posted by: Trina | June 29, 2010

Why “Out-of-the-Box Executive Search” Is Long Overdue

There is a growing number of highly skilled 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants leaving Germany  for lack of adequate employment opportunities. These are people who were either born here or came here at a very young age, and are familiar with both the language and the culture. There is also a growing gap in companies around the country where highly skilled and – motivated employees should be.

You’d think these two needs would at least partially cancel each other out: on the one hand, qualified people looking for good employment opportunities; on the other hand, companies with openings to fill looking for skilled people looking for qualified employees.

Daniel Schäfer’s article “Out-of-the-Box Executive Search” in today’s online edition of the Financial Times, throws some much-needed light on just why – in Germany – this equation isn’t as easy as it looks at first glance.  While reviewing the policies and progress made by such international players as Siemens and Deutsche Telekom, Schäfer also notes:

Critics say Germany is still blatantly ignoring the talent and skill resources it can tap into both in women and among migrants, in what threatens to undermine Germany’s future position as one of the strongest and most global industrial economies in the world.

Based on current demographic development, Schäfer cites a McKinsey study finding that showed “a gap of 24m workers by 2040” – a gap that could be most effectively closed by making more efficient use of the resources closest to home.

Though this article does mention how an increase in diversity management initiatives has shifted the recruitment focus to foreigners as well as German women, the question remains to what extent these foreigners are shopped-for expats or local recruits from Germany’s own, ever-growing pool of highly qualified “citizens with migrant backgrounds” or – for that matter – non-white Germans.


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